Dance and make me better

by You Have My Word

I wrote this after I saw a good friend of mine perform in a dance competition. I don’t always connect with the emotional nuances of dance, but I was moved that day. I hope this poem does justice to her performance.

Contemporary dance, bitter song butterfly boucher

Dance and make me better

The dancer moves

(she exists)

in a vacuum

(isolated)

and flick-flacks

with her head back

(She cries with her eyes

to the skies.)

Decisive motion:

she

hurls

herself

across

the

stage

(the taste of bile)

The crowd is enraptured –

she’s beautiful

and it shows

(bitter song beneath her clothes)

Step.

Stroke.

Spin a

   g

     a

   i

n

and a

  g

     a

   i

n

(unravelling)

and gains speed

(“Please make it better.”)

Stop.

Accent.

(violent)

Fluid and fragile limbs

(flawed in her own eyes)

She loses herself

as her heart-rate climbs,

writing movement into space

(false bravado)

and it’s desperately

fulfilling, clawing at oxygen –

she’s poised before their judgement

forcing another kick

(she needs to breathe).

Skin skids, scrapes, scars

to end.

Heel turn

to take a bow

(the performer exits)

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